London has cancelled its St. Patrick’s Day Parade on account of the coronavirus threat.
The parade around London culminates in a massive concert in Trafalgar Square.
A statement from the Mayor of London’s office said: “London’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations are an annual highlight for many, many people. I am incredibly disappointed that this year’s event has had to be cancelled as key performers and parade participants are no longer able to participate due to the ongoing threat of coronavirus.
“London’s Irish community makes a huge contribution to our great city. I recognise that the unavailability of key performers and parade participants leaves no choice but to cancel.”
Irish Film London’s St. Patrick’s Festival has also been postponed with a statement from their Facebook page saying: “Irish Film London has taken the decision to postpone the St Patrick’s Film Festival London, which was scheduled to take place at the Regent Street Cinema, London, from Friday 13 March to Sunday 15 March 2020.
“After meeting as a Board and subsequently monitoring the situation over the past 48 hours, it is with great regret that we have to announce that, as a result of growing concerns about the transmission of Coronavirus, we have decided that we will not continue with the St. Patrick’s Film Festival this weekend.
“The decision was taken in light of the announcement of the UK government’s official move from their phase of ‘containment’ to ‘delay’ of the virus spread. We felt that if we went ahead, the safety of our loyal audience and partners might be compromised. Given the particularly friendly and social nature of our events, it might not be compatible with the kinds of social distancing measures and protocols recommended to mitigate the virus spread.
“The film festival is part of the Mayor of London’s St Patrick’s Day Festival, which includes the annual parade and live festival at Trafalgar Square which were planned for Sunday 15th March, both of which are now also cancelled.
“While we know that our festival partners, filmmakers, special guests, audience, staff and volunteers will be very disappointed that the festival will not take place, we know that putting their safety first is the right thing to do. We hope to be able to re-schedule the festival for later in the summer and will announce updates to that end as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, we are working on creating an online, short film taster fest to whet your appetite and keep us all connected this weekend! So, watch this space, and join our newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox, and to hear more about this weekend’s little treat.”
St. Patrick’s celebrations have also been postponed at the London Irish Centre in Camden: “We are very sad to announce postponement of all four St. Patrick’s events at the Centre.
“We have taken this decision as a precaution, and in line with global actions being taken in response to the fast-changing coronavirus crisis.
“The health and wellbeing of our vulnerable and elderly clients is our top priority.
“We are also very conscious of the safety of our audiences, artists, volunteers, and staff.
“We simply cannot justify bringing together crowds of people, especially the vulnerable, in the midst of this pandemic.
“Many months of planning and preparation went into our programme, so we postpone these events with a heavy heart.
“However, we will be back.
“As well as planning service continuation for our vulnerable clients, we are already working hard to reschedule events and will have updates soon.
“Full refunds will be made to all ticketholders who would like a refund.”
Frances Black has been cancelled at Hammersmith’s Irish Cultural Centre. The St. Patrick’s Tea Dance has also been cancelled.
Frances stated: “It is with regret that I have to cancel my upcoming concert in the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith this coming Sunday the 15th March. I regret any inconvenience caused but I feel it’s the right thing to do. I wish everyone a safe journey through this very tough time. Mind yourselves”
“All online sales shall be refunded. For any in centre purchases please e-mail [email protected] for the next steps.”
Chris Kavanagh’s Legend of Luke Kelly will also not go ahead and the St. Patrick’s Tea Dance has also been postponed